What to watch for: Dionne Warwick edition


Get it? San Jose? Hello? Anyone?

Anyway this is the last game of the West Coast road trip, which of course means you can soon return to normal sleep cycles under your Barry Beck posters. Here’s hoping it’s a good one, if only for the people of San Jose — who I’m pretty sure according to the new NHL schedule won’t see the Rangers again this century. Or at least until Thomas Pock plays next. Whichever comes first.


Either way, as I mentioned before, the Rangers can play this game knowing the road trip will at least be a moderate success. Given the ugly loss to Florida last week, and even an uglier loss at L.A. on Monday, I would imagine most fans would have signed up for a 2-2 swing out West. That the team has a chance to go 3-1 is even better (speaking of which, in this era of expensive newsprint, we should thank the Rangers for not even needing the third column in the standings yet).

With that in mind, a few things to keep an eye on:

  • Attitude: We’ve seen Panicky Rangers (Phoenix, last night in Anaheim). And we’ve seen Overconfident Rangers (L.A.). What do we get if we see Relaxed and Focused Rangers? I’m not saying that’s what we’re in for, but we have yet to see a team that isn’t a) of a fragile mindset because of a recent loss, or b) of inflated self-esteem because of a recent win. At one point, these guys are going to figure out there’s a healthy medium in there somewhere.
  • Kevin Weekes: The people of Rangerland have spoken. They love the fact that the backup emerged from purgatory to guide their team to victory against the Ducks last night. But they hate the fact that he is being tossed out there again on back-to-back nights. I’m on the fence on this one. I like the fact that Tom Renney is rewarding Weekes’ solid effort last night with another shot tonight. But I wonder about the message it sends No. 1 Henrik Lundqvist, who, while shaky at times, can’t be held responsible for his team’s uneven play. Goalies have feelings too, you know.
  • Marek Malik: The people of Rangerland have also spoken about this one, and it goes something like this: What the…..? While I’ve always been a believer that a guy should be rewarded fresh off a two-assist game, I’m not sure what the protocol is when the two assists were FOR THE OTHER TEAM. OK, wisecracks over. Truth is, if not for his two significant gaffes, Malik wouldn’t have had that bad a game against the Ducks. Yes, I’m aware that’s an “if” almost as big as Malik himself. But a point was made to me the other day, and it sort of ties in to what I was saying about the Rangers’ attitude as a whole: You want your guys to play with fear. But you don’t want your guys to play with so much fear that they’re paralyzed. That’s been a problem so far with the Rangers, and it may explain why Malik needs another shot.
  • Heavyweights toe-to-toe: No. 1 scorer in the league last year (Joe Thornton) against the No. 2 scorer (Jaromir Jagr). What more can you ask for?

  • About Author


    1. Bad joke Sam! LOL

      Im on the fence about Weekes also… I agree that deserves to start, but I also fear the back to back games.

    2. I say let Lundqvist sweat,…it can only be good for him.

      Seriously Pock needs to play. The forwards are taking turns in street cloths,…why not the defence? Besides the fact that the Fans want him to play, the team just might benefit from it, and he might benefit as well. Sitting for so long cant be helping his game. They sould have at least left him in hartford to keep him playing until they need him if they didn’t want to give him a chance.

      Malik…well…you know what im thinking

    3. I think it’s great for Lundqvist to sit. If Weekes can get hot and stay hot, it might give Henrik feel some competition again and get him going. I’m hoping anyway!!

    4. I actually did have a Barry Beck poster in my room.

      I think whether he’s scared, embarrased, too scared, happy, too confident, angry or just not feeling anything at all makes no difference. Marek Malik appears unable to play defense in the NHL. Id love to be wrong sice he is and will remain OUR Marek for quite a long time.

    5. Sam: I agree on the not wanting guys to play with fear…but Malik shouldnt be playing with any fear, he has made some boneheaded moves this year, costing the ragners gaols, taking tons of hooking PIM’s…I tihnk its time Renney make his shake a little on the sidelines n fear of not playing again…maybe its good to let him try to rebound from that game, he is a pro, but if he has a even marginally bad game tonight he should sit, for at least one game or untill someone else makes it known they didnt get the messege. SO I will go along with what you said for one more game, THAN maybe I will send some nice amil to the rangers asking why Renney isnt addressing the problems with the vets in the same way as he address prolems with the young palyer….by not letting them have ice time

    6. Fair point. Just bear in mind I’m not necessarily advocating Malik playing or not playing. I’m just trying to understand the rationale. Because there has to be one one way or the other.

    7. Okay, I missed posting last night as I had to watch the game on Tivo. A period behind from the start, I was like Malik chasing just about any other skater in a futile attempt to catch up to live so I could post.

      My comments on comments and the current state of the Rangers:

      1. I agree with Vinny on a few things: Trading Prucha is a mistake whether Seabrook is a stud or not. Prucha is a homegrown prospect who wasn’t even drafted that high. If a team is truly serious about developing players and sticking with them (unlike, say, Norstrom, Aaron Miller, Zdlicky to name a few recent guys we’ve played against who were drafted by us.). We’ve been sold on the idea that this is a paradigm shift. Trading Prucha, even for youth, is a mistake. Besides, Prucha is a sniper and he is already getting things going again. As Stephen Colbert would say “I CALLED IT!” (insert cool link like Sam does here to post where I said not to panic because Jagr, Lundy and Prucha were not at 100% and it would be foolish to think they would remain that way).

      2. Also agree with you, Vinny, about some of Renney’s decisions, but I still think I’d give you a lot more credibility as a poster if you refrained from calling Renney a Heyena. (First of all, I don’t get it) The guy has some faults: 1- I blame him for no one stepping up to take issue with another teams attempt to injure our players. This is a culture a coach controls. Players know that ice time is controlled by the coach. Sure, they can’t help if they suck and pass to the other team (re: Mail-it-in-ik) but they can control taking a roughing/fighting penalty. The players have been told this is unacceptable, just like it was with Muckler. Renney also has blind spots for certain players he feels have earned a pass in Roszy and Malik. IF these two guys were younger (I’d agree witht he Czech conspiracy thing, but Rachunek has been benched) they would be called out for a consistent effort. MEanwhile he sends down Kasparitis, who obviously feels he was singled out and deservedly should be pissed off to see Malik screw up on a nightly basis and still START on defense and never miss a shift after a stupid play that would nail a guy like Pock to the bench if he had done it. Renney also refuses to consider other options on the Power Play, and has relied too much on the 1st two lines (although Penalties have definitely influenced that).

      You are right, Hollweg did a lot better in that fight than he was given credit for. And delicious was the perfect word for that hit. Nice.

      Renney does deserve credit for last year despite what you claim. Yes, he rode three players, but he did change the culture. 6-6 does not mean that culture is gone forever.

      I vehemently disagree with you on Betts and Straka. They give a consistent effort and are valuable cogs. Renney misuses them (Betts 2nd line, Straka PP Point) but that isn’t their fault.

      Jagr is not 100%. Just watch him lately compared to early games. He is finally able to use his body to ward off players like they are flies. He still doesn’t hold on to the puck as strongly as he usually does and he does not have confidence in his shot. Hopefully this changes sooner rather than later.

      3. Weekes tonight is an interesting call. If Lundquist had confidence, I would disagree with the move. But if Lundquist started tonight and didn’t play well, he might start thinking it’s him and play worse. Goalies have fragile psyches (I know, I am one) and the Sharks could very well mow him like a big Swedish meatball.

      4. I still like the fact that this team has struggled early. If things come together and a few key players (Lundquist, Jagr, Prucha and the return of Orts) return to form, we will finish strong.

      Sorry for rambling.

    8. One more thing: Wildcard- your reasoning behind having Malik play over Rozy is flawed. Malik may think defensively, but there is a difference between thinking and executing.

      Pock should be in over Malik. Nuff said.

    9. Take it from me….Colorado Mark is an expert in everything Rangers. Good to see you posting here, bud. I was there last night, and the effort was so much better than the LA disaster that you could not compare. I am glad Weekes got the start tonight, because I thing he earned it. If not for his friend Malik, we would have won the game in regulation. One Malik gets repaced by Pock, we will be in much better shape on D.

    10. Hey, Bob! How goes it?

      What a kick-A** hockey period. I don’t care who was playing, that was fun. The refs let them hit and hit they did.

      Prucha is going to get killed someday, but damn if he isn’t the energizer bunny out there. Also nice to see Shanny stick up for him. (Sharks announcers “couldn’t believe Shanny didn’t get a penalty on that shift!”

      Malik played a good period. Knock on wood. MMM is his new nickname from me (Much Maligned Malik) with apologies to Mix Master Mike of the Beastie Boys.

      Cullen can stay. Great frickin’s goal.

      Weekes did well. I can’t think of anyone who played badly. The Sharks are big and fast, though. Nice to see us keeping up with their intensity.

      I kind of miss Ville Nieminen. I think he would be better than Hall or Hossa in that role.

    11. I just hope the Rangers dont get a false sense of security because of the goal. The sharks carried the play for about 17 of the 20 minutes in that period.

    12. that’s the way hockey should be played. lots of good hits. Sharks are a great young team, the youngest team in the league.

    13. 2-0 Rangers ! great !

      Martin Straka 7, by Michael Nylander and Fyedor Tutin…!
      Sharktank seems to be very quiet !:)

    14. Next editor´s fault:

      The correct name is Thomas Pöck ! It is funny that you guys all want to see him play when you consider our rivalry with the Austrians, that you see a guy from Austria beeing the solution on defense for the Rangers :)

    15. The biggest reason I like Ozo on the PP point over Rozsival is that Ozo isnt scared of Jagr. Rosy passes it to Jagr the second he gets the puck and is afraid to shoot. Ozo runs the PP like a good QB. Once this change is made, I really see our PP getting better. Ozo is a great passer and has a good, low shot. COL MARK and BOB, good to see you guys here!

    16. Koala is right.

      I can recall 2000 to be at the sharktank for a game and it was much more louder that I feel it is on listening to the Rangers audio… It´s the great a lot of fanatic fans these days, you don´t exspect from a place in California. It was a great night returning back by the last train next behind the arena to one of my favourite city in the U.S. to San Francisco where I stayed for a couple of days…

      Either way seems to be a very solid smooth defensive performance by the Rangers and Weekes had obviously some great saves… I hope the guys are holding on to the lead in the final stanza…..!!!:)

    17. Some pet peeves: Announcers that use stupid puns: “Until last night Kevin hadn’t played in WEEKES.” Shoot me now! I might even take Mike Crispino over…nah.

      Why does J. Ward have an initial, but Aaron Ward is just Ward? Shouldn’t he have an “A”. Shouldn’t Ranger seniority play into it? Weird.

      Another annoying announcer habit. They call Thornton “Joe” as in Jagr stole the puck from “Joe”. It’s the same thing in Colorado. If it isn’t just “Joe” it’s “Super Joe”, even more nauseating. Are we in grade school? Are we supposed to be impressed with your familiarity?

      Weekes was excellent.

      I take it back about Nieminen. How many turnovers in one shift after the stupid penalty?

      What a shift by Hollweg.

    18. Rangers starting to gel. and most importantly, starting to BACKCHECK. and starting to kill penalties.

    19. Great defense by the Rangers, after they were so deftly criticized for it in the past….

      Good solid effort…!

      oh man that´s pity Weekes lost the shoutout with 2.24 remaining !

      Shanny, great, blocking shots and having an empty-netter !!!

      Great win tonight looking for a big game on Sunday one a few late afternoon tilts…

      Have sweet dreams everybody:)

    20. Anthony (the other one) on

      Who are these guys, and what the heck have they done with our ’06-’07 Rangers? While the team seems to have built off last night’s success, I think there’s another factor in play here.

      Anybody notice the suit Renney was wearing tonight?

      Sharp. 1,000s of times better than the roadkill he’s worn a couple of times this year.

      My theory? Renney dresses for success, the Rangers win. He wears something that looks like a 70’s sofa cover? The Rangers cough up the puck and basically putz all over the ice out of sheer embarassment.

      Think about it…

    21. Great game, im doing my rangersreview.com writeup as we speak, but i need a typing break to come here and….well type i suppose.
      GREAT game by weekes, but he gave up what might be the worst goal ive seen in at least 2 years.

    22. What a turn-around the past 2 nights have been for the Rangers… We’ve been hitting, back-checking, getting great, clutch goaltending from Kevin Weekes and scoring timely goals!

      2 back-to-back victories ON THE ROAD against what many consider to be among the “elite” teams in the NHL… I don’t know too many bad or mediocre hockey teams that can go 3-1 on a 4-game Western road trip (especially with 2 of those games being against Anaheim and San Jose on BACK-TO-BACK NIGHTS)…

      Our penalty killing has been SUPERB (San Jose has the best PP in the league) and our discipline has been much better of late, too!

      I really hope the Rangers build on this successful road trip and put the pedal to the floor! I wish our defense was tougher, but I like seeing Tyutin and Ward throwing the body, like they are, and even Rachunek (clearly not one of my favorite players) played a solid game agaisnt the Sharks… Orr needs to stay in the lineup too, because he plays a smart, tough game and our team needs him in there…

      Unfortunately, I will be traveling on Sunday, and will have to catch the game on XM-Radio… That should be a good one… I heard the Sabres were down by 3 goals to Boston tonight, with 6 minutes left in the game, and they came back to win it (in a shootout)… Buffalo is still unbeaten in regulation… Tough, tough game and we own them one!

      I’m not sure what Renney will do with the goaltending situation, but I have to give Kevin Weekes credit for playing extremely well in 2 tough games on the road!

      LET’S GO RANGERS ! ! ! !

    23. Congrats to the Rangers and to Kevin Weekes. I defy anyone to think that these guys could take 4 points out of 4 the past 2 nights following that debacle in Los Angeles. 6 of 8 points on the west coaster sounds real good. Look out for the Sabres!

    24. What a solid, hard-hitting game. Finally, the Rangers seemed to really respond with energy without losing control and eventually letting up a goal. Fun hockey.

      Get Ozo on the p.p. 1st team right now. I understand the theory of spreading the wealth (as it is) but give me a break. That’s why he’s a Ranger — and the only reason.

      Malik had one heck of a nasty open ice hit in the 1st. Good stuff.

      And good for Weekes — guy’s so underrated and, like a lot of goalies, seems to respond really well to more p.t.

      That’s funny (and frighteningly accurate) about Renney’s suits. Not so funny is that there’s no doubt that Prucha will break if he keeps getting hit like he has been. His chest may just crack.

      Go Rangers, baby.

    25. “Coach Jackal is totally clueless and tonight we get blown out of the water by Sharks.”
      – vinny pooh

      God, I love when he’s wrong… Great game.

    26. Rangers looked pretty tight knit as a group on the ice in San Jose. I thank Brendan Shanahan for that. He has been the leader and real captain of the 2006-2007 NY Rangers.
      Arron Ward probably has something to do with it too I’m sure.

      Kevin Weekes had alot to do with it. Malik played his best game of 06. And Rosival having his best game also, probably had alot to do with Malik playing better.

      Peter Prucha should be off the trade block if he ever really was. His speed is a commodity.
      Pock has to get in the lineup. Malik should still get a rest even though he played better.

    27. Can someone tell me where the real Rangers are? If that was them out there last night in San Jose and they can reproduce that kind of intensity, then it’s time for some of the hyper critics here and elsewhere to tone it down a notch. Even the guys I’m prone to crab about (Weekes, Orr and Betts, with a side of Malik) looked good.

      I freaked after the first period-energyfest, thinking this team would run out of gas and take a serious tank in the second. Boy was I pleasantly surprised. And Weekes looked like the Weekes I thought was signed to be the first-string goalie in 2005. Guys who made a difference: Rachunek had a great game, Jagr was looking dominant, Prucha was his sparkplug self. Good hitting by Hollweg and, to get the grumblers grumbling, HOSSA LOOKED GREAT ON THE PK. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

      Sam, as you called it in a past blog, a road trip might have been just what the team needed to gel(provided of course, they can replicate this weeks’ success). Hollweg was saying exactly that in an interview on MSG. Good call, mate.

    28. DoodieMachetto on

      Weekes I think should take over the starting job for the time being. He’s played extremely well, and maybe it’ll inspire Duke Henrik (he’s not king anymore) to play better.

    29. DoodieMachetto on

      Really? Because I havent seen Lundqvist string two decent games in a row all season. I just saw Weekes do it on the first chance he had.

    30. nothing is more tiresome than the same posters doing their drive-by PR campaigns for Hossa and Bozo.

      I have seldom seen guys so desperate to try to make chicken salad out of chicken bleep.

    Leave A Reply